Tag Archives: Z.1108 AA-X

Hull Crematorium – P/O Robert Bertram RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 .

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A fortuitous need to travel over to Grimsby to pick up my wife from a visit to her family allowed the chance to plot and then try to execute a perhaps in hindsight, overly ambitious tour of a number of churchyards on the way back to Cheshire. Torrential rain upon waking suggested it would be a hard but rewarding day and many hours and miles later, this was just about the consensus opinion……..

Arriving in Hull it was relatively easy to find the Northern Cemetery, but my heart sank when, after asking staff in the Crematorium office where the ‘Screen Wall’ was, they looked rather blank. A polite explanation that this information was from the CWGC website seemed to cut no further mustard with them – after discussion they suggested I try the ‘Columbarium’. At this point I was desperately trying not to let my facial expression say ‘What is a Columbarium’ and mercifully, a helpful member of staff appeared and said he would drive to it and let us follow him.

“A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e., urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons called a dovecote.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium

 Leaving the car and walking to the Columbarium in torrential rain, this was not going to be an easy task, there appearing to be no clear indication even to where we should start our search – of course in these circumstances, we finally found Robert, having looked at almost every other single plaque…..

06/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Essen and Le Havre
Five Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit made attacks against the above targets. A mixed load consisting of 500lbs and incendiaries were carried. Bombs were dropped in target area and extensive fires were left burning. There was little A.A. fire but there was great activity with searchlights. No enemy aircraft was met. Weather was fair with 6/10ths. Cloud over target area. Navigation was satisfactory.

Wellington Mk.Ic T.2747 AA-J

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:00 – Landed 21:05
Flight Time 05:05

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:15 – Landed 20:05
Flight Time 02:50

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.8971 AA- ?

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Baker, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:45 – Landed 23:25
Flight Time 05:40

30/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Hamburg
Eleven Wellington Ic and two Wellington II aircraft were detailed from the Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Weather was clear and visibility good. A few bombs were dropped in the target area the remaining were bought back to base. Heavy, medium and light flak was encountered and a large number of searchlights were active. (Sentence illegible). One unidentified aircraft was also seen off the Frisian Islands. A convoy off Cromer fired at aircraft until colours were fired. Navigation was good. Astro and D.R. loop being used. One Wellington Ic aircraft, 1099, captained by Sgt. Harrison-Smith failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1108 AA-X

Sgt. Spence, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Harrington, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. R.S. Davey, RAF identity not sure – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Guy Lionel Roy Heywood, RNZAF NZ40622 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Cope, RAFVR 548460, 55877 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:50
Flight Time 06:30

23/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Seven wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bomb bursts and fires were seen in the target area. Light, medium and heavy flak was met and searchlights were not very active. Weather was good over the target. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8834, captained by Sgt. Bentley, crashed at Burner’s Heath on return and Sgt. Bentley was killed, the crew being injured.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, r NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:20 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 06:00

27/12/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest and Dusseldorf
Twelve Wellington Ic aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs,250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were seen to burst in town and railway station at Dusseldorf. Intense heavy flak was encountered over target areas and large concentrations of searchlights were active. Weather was good with very good visibility over target area. Navigation was good. Wellington Z.8971, captained by Sgt. Machin, crashed near Dartmoor owing to the port engine failing. The entire crew baled out safely.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K

Sgt. James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:30 – Landed 11:00
Flight Time 18:30

12/02/1942 – Daylight Attack – German Battleships in the Channel
Two Wellington III aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs G.P. Owing to very bad weather, 10/10 cloud and rain in large areas, the ships were not bombed. The bomb load was returned to base. Wellington aircraft X3390 encountered fierce light A.A. Fire from two destroyers on two occasions. Fire being returned by the rear gunner. This aircraft also attacked by two ME 109’s but sustained no damage. Navigation was entirely by D.R. The whole operation was marred by very poor visibility and low cloud. Wellington X3475 was also detailed to carry out an attack on the above target but the vessels were not contacted owing to darkness and adverse weather conditions. Several unidentified aircraft were seen. A.A. Fire was observed over clouds.

Wellington Mk.III X.3390 AA-S

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 15:10 – Landed 18:50
Flight Time 03:40

08/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and S.B.C’s which were dropped in the target area, fires were seen to be burning in the target area. Weather was clear except for haze over the target. There were many searchlights but these were ineffective. Accurate heavy flak was encountered over the target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335 and was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H (1)

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 04:40
Flight Time 04:10

09/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Eleven Wellington III aircraft carried out an attack against the above target. Bomb load consisted of 500 lbs, 250 lbs and containers of incendiaries, and was dropped in the target area, fires and bomb bursts being seen. A strong flak defence was encountered over the target and searchlights were very active. One Me.110 was seen and one unidentified aircraft was seen to be shot down by an enemy fighter. Weather was good. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:00 – Landed 01:00
Flight Time 05:00

12/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Kiel
Eight Wellington aircraft carried out an attack against the above target, one aircraft, captained by Sgt Bell did not carry out an attack. Three aircraft captained by S/L Kitchin, F/O Sandys and Sgt Parnham failed to return to base. Bomb load consisted of 1,000 lbs, 500 lbs and 250 lbs was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. There was heavy and light predicted flak and large cones of searchlights in the target area and one twin engined enemy aircraft made one unsuccessful attack on Wellington III X3586 captained by S/L Newton. Weather was clear over the target with 5/10 cloud over North Sea. Navigation was by D.R. and TR1335.

Wellington Mk.III X.3597 AA-C

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:25 – Landed 02:25
Flight Time 06:00

25/03/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St.Nazaire and Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attack. Wellington III X3652, captained by P/O Slater failed to return, and two aircraft failed to locate the target. Bomb Load consisted of 500 lbs and 250 lbs, this being dropped in the target area but no results were observed. Slight A.A. fire and a few ineffective searchlights were encountered but no enemy fighters were seen. Weather was fine with slight ground haze. Navigation by TR1335 and D.R. was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3359 AA-H

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:05 – Landed 23:40
Flight Time 03:35

05/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Cologne
Nine Wellington Aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped but results were not observed. There was intense heavy flak and many searchlights were active but ineffective owing to the bright moonlight. One Ju.88 aircraft was seen near the target and Wellington III X3705 was attacked by a Me.110 near Liege without result. Weather was good and navigation by TR1335 and D.R was also good. One aircraft did not carry out it’s mission and two are missing. Wellington III X3489, captained by W/Cdr Sawrey Cookson the C.O. of the squadron, and Wellington III X3661 captained by F/S Thomas.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:00 – Landed 06:15
Flight Time 05:15

06/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Essen
Wellington aircraft were detailed from this unit to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 250lbs was dropped in the target area and fires were observed. There was intense heavy flak over the target but only a few searchlights were active. One single engined fighter attempted to attack Wellington II X3636 but was driven off by flak. There was 9/10th cloud on the route and 3/10th to 5/10th cloud over the target at 11,000 feet. Navigation was good TR and DR being used.

Wellington Mk.III Z.3636 AA-R

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Allen Roy Henderson, RNZAF NZ401382 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:30 – Landed 05:50
Flight Time 05:20

08/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets Hamburg
Nine Well.III aircraft from this unit were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 30lbs L.C. and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. Intense predicted flak S.W. of Hamburg but searchlight ineffective owing to cloud. One enemy a/c seen off Heligoland and believed JU88. Weather was very poor with 10/10 cloud over target and electric storms off East coast of England. Navigation was by DR and TR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3667 AA-D

P/O James Kenneth Climie, RNZAF NZ403561 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Desmond Stewart Tutty, RNZAF NZ404576 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:50 – Landed 02:10
Flight Time 04:20

12/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at LeHavre and Essen
Ten Well.III, aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, was dropped in the target area, bomb bursts being observed. Fairly accurate heavy and medium flak was encountered. There were a great number of searchlights active in cones. Many fighters flares and red and green lights were seen on route. One fighter a/c was seen over North Sea about 250 miles from the Dutch Coast. Weather was very clear with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was by TR, DR and loops.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

S/L Raymond John Newton, RNZAF NZ40984 – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Francis William Green, RAFVR 581283/ 41730 – Observer.
F/S Leonard Roy Gould, RAFVR 552462/ 49001 – Wireless Operator.
Cptn. Peter Terrey Wykes , British Army 85197 – Front Gunner.
P/O Walter Gordon Fenton, RNZAF NZ391838 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:10 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 06:20

17/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area and bomb bursts were seen. Well.III, X.3636 jettisoned its bombs when in searchlight beams. There was intense heavy flak co-operating with searchlights which were numerous. Weather was clear and there was a slight ground haze. Navigation was good by TR, loops and DR.

Wellington Mk.III X.3541 AA-H

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. William Henderson Taylor, RAFVR 1051621/ 122053 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:30 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 03:50

22/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne
Ten Well.III a\c were detailed attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 100lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs, 30lb and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area but no results seen owing to cloud. There were only a few searchlights active and A.A. fire was slight. Well.III, X3487 captained by P/O Jarman was attacked by a JU.88 which attacked once and broke away to port. The results of this short attack were however serious the second pilot, P/O Nicol being mortally wounded, the rear gunner Sgt. Harris being killed and the Navigator Sgt. Taylor and W/Op. Sgt. Fernie were wounded. The bomb load was not dropped on the target but was dropped in the sea. The a/c was brought back to base and crash landed. Well.III, X3705, captained by F/S. McLachlan, was also attacked and the second pilot killed (P/O. Fountain) and Sgt. Tutty was wounded. F/Sgt. McLachlan managed to reach base and crash land.

Wellington Mk.III X.3482 AA-J

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:20 – Landed 01:25
Flight Time 04:05

23/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock
Seven Well.III a/c from this unit were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb incendiaries was dropped on the target. Results were very good, many large fires were seen and bomb burst. A.A. fire was very small, some light and heavy flak being encountered. There were few searchlights active and no enemy a/c were seen. Weather was very good with slight ground haze. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Gordon Edwin Caitcheon, RNZAF NZ404016 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:40 – Landed 06:20
Flight Time 07:40

25/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against at Rostock and Dunkirk
Seven Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above targets. Bomb load of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb incendiaries was dropped in the target area and fires were seen burning fiercely. Bombs were seen to burst across aiming point A.A. Fire was only slight and searchlights afew. One enemy a/c was seen near Dunkirk. Weather was very clear with slight ground haze.

Wellington Mk.III X.3720 AA-U

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:18 – Landed 05:30
Flight Time 07:12

27/04/1942 – Operations – Attack Against Targets at Cologne and Mine Laying off Heligoland
Eight Well.III a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, and 4lbs incendiaries was dropped on the target and fires were seen burning at Cologne. The mine laying a/c successfully carried out ther task, without interference. There was moderate A.A. fire over Cologne and searchlights working in cones. One enemy a/c was seen but no attack was made. Weather was good with visibility up to 100 miles. Navigation was good, DR, TR, loops and map reading.

Wellington Mk.III X.3408 AA-Q

Sgt. Turner, RAF – Pilot.
Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Stanley Frederick Hall, RNZAF NZ402182 – Observer.
Sgt. Walsh, RAFVR – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ries, RAFVR – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Charles Smith, RNZAF NZ401466 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:03 – Landed 04:23
Flight Time 06:20

29/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Dieppe
Four Wellington aircraft of this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. The target area was bombed, but owing to cloud and poor visibility results were not observed. A.A. fire was light and searchlights were not numerous. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Loop.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:35 – Landed 02:40
Flight Time 04:05

30/05/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Cologne
Twenty-three Wellington aircraft, including IA, IC,III, were detailed to carry out the above attacks. One of these aircraft, Wellington IA T.2894, captained by P/O Johnson (attached to this Unit from C.G.S. Suton Bridge) failed to return to base. Another aircraft X.3751 captained by P/O Jarman, was badly damaged by flak, both fuel tanks being holed and both port and starboard airspeed indicators rendered unserviceable. The bomb load consisted of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 30lbs. and 4lbs incendiaries. The weather conditions were excellent, and the target was bombed successfully many fires being started in all parts of the town. A.A. fire was very erratic and searchlights were working in cones. A large number of enemy aircraft were seen but no attacks resulted. Navigation was by D/R, TR, Q.D.M., Loop.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:10 – Landed 04:05
Flight Time 04:55

01/06/1942 – Attacks Against Targets at Essen
Twenty Well. a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb loads of $000lbs, 500lbs, 250, 30lb inc and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but results were not observed owing to cloud over target. Large fires were, however, seen to be burning in the target area. A.A. fire was not particularly intense and searchlights were scattered. One ME.109 followed Well.IC DV884 for about 5 minutes but was eluded. Weather was fairly good until target was reached where there was low cloud and haze. Navigation was good by all aids.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Kenneth Atherton Crankshaw, RNZAF NZ404533 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:44 – Landed 02:44
Flight Time 03:00

02/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Sixteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area but no results were observed. A few small fires were seen near target. A.A. fire was fairly heavy and searchlights operating in cones were numerous. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather marred the operation, there being a heavy ground have. Navigation was excellent. Well, X3408, captained by P/O Carter, failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Leslie William Kennedy, RNZAF NZ41594 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:24 – Landed 03:46
Flight Time 03:22

05/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. No results were observed. A.A. fire was intense and searchlights active in cones. No enemy a/c were seen. Weather was clear except for ground haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Clifton Robert Brailley, RNZAF NZ404587 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:25 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 03:50

06/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve aircraft were detailed to carry out an attack on the above target and a bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc. was dropped on the target. Large buildings were seen to be ablaze and there were a number of small fires. Flak was fairly intense but searchlights few. No enemy a/c were encountered. Weather was good. Navigation was very good. One a/c sighted enemy flak ships and dived down to 200ft and attacked them. Results were not observed.

Wellington Mk.III X.3586 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 04:30
Flight Time 05:10

08/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twelve aircraft were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Owing to haze results were not observed. There was a heavy concentration of flak and searchlights in target area. Two unidentified a/c were observed near Dutch Coast by Well.III, X.3720 and were eluded. Weather was good no cloud over target but hazy. Navigation was very good. Well.III, X.3587, captained by P/O. Smith and Well.III, Z.1573, captained by P/O Murdoch failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:28 – Landed 03:12
Flight Time 03:44

16/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Seven aircraft were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was taken. One a/c did not carry out its task and returned early. Owing to insufficient cloud cover Essen was not attacked by a/c but bombs were dropped on Bonn. There was heavy flak and searchlights were moderate. Weather was unfavourable. Navigation was good. No enemy a/c were seen.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:23 – Landed 03:38
Flight Time 04:15

19/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Eleven a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 4lb inc was taken. Aircraft unable to identify Emden attacked Osnabruck. Results were not observed. Flak was not intense but searchlights were fairly active. One unidentified a/c followed Well.III X3539 for about 5 miles but made no attack. Weather was clear over Osnabruck. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:49 – Landed 04:12
Flight Time 04:23

20/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Twelve a/c were detailed to attack the above target. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. There was intense flak and searchlights were few. A JU88 attacked Well.III, X3539 without result. Weather was hazy with 5/10 cloud. Visibility very bad. Nav was good. Well.III, X3760 P/O Fraser failed to return.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:29 – Landed 03:43
Flight Time 04:14

22/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Emden
Thirteen a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results were not observed. Flak was moderate and searchlights were scarce. One JU88 and one ME109 sighted by one of our a/c but no attack made. Weather good 5/10 cloud at 15,000’, clear over target. Slight haze. Nav was excellent.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Ian Gordon Stewart, RNZAF NZ404623 – .
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:40
Flight Time 04:20

23/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at St. Nazaire and (Gardening)
Eight a/c were detailed to carry out the above sortie. Bomb load was 500lbs and vegetables. The task was carried out as ordered. No results observed. Small concentration of flak and searchlights at Cherbourg. No enemy a/c seen. Weather was fine with slight ground have over France. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D (11)

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. A. Gordon, RAFVR 1376471 – . Question of identity of this individual –
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:58 – Landed 04:57
Flight Time 05:59

25/06/1942 – Attack on Targets at Bremen
Twenty a/c were detailed to attack the above. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs and 4lb inc was dropped in the target. Results not observed. There was a large amount of A.A. fire searchlights were ineffective. A JU88 followed Well.III X3664 but did not attack. Weather was moderate with 10/10 cloud. Nav was good.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:15 – Landed 04:13
Flight Time 04:58

29/06/1942 – Attack Against Targets at Bremen
Sixteen a/c were detailed to carry out the above attack. Bomb load of 4000lbs, 500lbs, and 4lb inc was dropped in the target area. Results not observed. A.A. fire was heavy in target area. Searchlights were ineffective through cloud. A JU88 was attacked and claimed as shot down by Well.BJ837, captained by Sgt. Hockaday. Weather was cloudy. Nav was excellent. Well.III (P/O Monk) failed to return and Well.III Z1616 (Sgt. Bertram) crashed after take-off and caught fire. All crew killed.

Wellington Mk.III Z.1616 AA-D

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536 – Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084 – Front Gunner.
Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23.20 – Landed –
Flight Time – crashed after take off – all crew killed

Z.1616 AA-D completed a normal take-off at 23.20, but approximately 5 minutes after becoming airborne, fire was seen to break out on the aircraft (witnesses say the aircraft was on fire before it crashed) The Wellington then crashed in flames near Red House Farm, Methwold, a few miles north of Feltwell. All five crew were killed.

Sgt. Robert Bertram, RAFVR 1112264/ 128536. Killed age 26.
Buried Hull Crematorium, Kingston Upon-Hull, England.

Sgt. Joseph Guy Quin, RAFVR 1256373. Killed age 25.
Laleham (All Saints) Churchyard, Staines, Middlesex, England.

Sgt. Richard John Grenfell, RNZAF NZ404026. Killed age 33.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Norfolk, England.

Sgt. Norman Mitchell, RNZAF NZ404084. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St. Nicholas) Churchyard England.

Sgt. George Walter Matthew Archer, RAFVR 1355706. Killed age 25.
Buried Feltwell (St Nicholas) Churchyard, England.

Eric Reginald Jones RNZAF NZ404375 – Pilot, 1941

eric jones RNZAF CONT

Many thanks to Barbara and her Mother Lil for passing on the above portrait of Father and Husband respectively, Eric Reginald Jones, who flew with the Squadron between  September 1941 and the  January 1942.

As well at the portrait of Eric, his family also passed on an extract of Eric’s recollections that he wrote some years after his service and also pertinent pages of his logbook. At least initially, I must confess that my attention was very much drawn to the personal recollections that Eric had written. “A letter to my Grandchildren” was penned by Eric some 50 years after the war and, as you will read later goes into particular detail regarding his second Op as 2nd Pilot with Bob Bray.

After Barbara’s initial contact I inevitably looked for and found Eric in my database and at the time, thought there seemed to be a few discrepancies between what I had listed and what Eric recorded in his logbook. A closer inspection last night has thrown up the fascinating fact that there appears to be a mistake in the FORM 541 for 1941…………

I will let all of this unfold in a perhaps more manageable chronological order and I hope, in this way, it will make sense to you all.

Eric arrived at Feltwell on the 29th of September 1941, 15 days later he undertook his first Operation as 2nd Pilot with Bob Bray’s crew.

“This Feltwell place was about fifly miles north of London, fairly close to Cambridge, and we lived away from the airfield in tents, but within easy walking distance of the aerodrome, Our tents (four man) were erected under the trees which lined the drive leading up to a large country house, and we walked to the ‘drome each morning for breakfast and whatever came next.”

Recorded in Eric’s logbook, this is the first Op of 3 that do not appear to have been recorded, or perhaps have been recorded incorrectly in the Form 541 for this month.

13/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen and Dusseldorf
Six* Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried and consisted of 1,000 lb GP, 500 lb GP, 250 lb GP and SBC’s of 4 lb incendiaries. Considerable A.A. fire was experienced North and West of the target area, both light and heavy. Target was bombed and fires were observed on leaving. Many large cones of Searchlights were active West and North of the target. Enemy aircraft were seen on the return flight over the Dutch coast but no attacks were made on our aircraft. An unidentified aircraft followed Sgt Taylor and crew in X9977 for about 40 minutes. No attacks were initiated. The aircraft was using a hand lamp for signaling. The weather was 10/10 cloud over target area, with haze. Navigation was by Lorenz, QDM’s, Astro Fix and DR.

Form 541 Lists the participating crews as follows:

Sgt. S.J.G. Isherwood
P/O J.F Fisher
Sgt. R.H. Tye
P/O W.R. Methven
Sgt. N.G.C. Ramsey
Sgt. Taylor

Op 1

Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

*Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Sidney Joseph Lawrence Levack, RAFVR 971231 – Observer.
Sgt. Walter Victor Ashleigh Phear, RNZAF NZ37168 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – Landed
Flight Time Not Known

15/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Cologne and Boulogne
Ten Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1,000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb GP’s and containers of incendiaries. Captains report that bombs were dropped on the target by estimation, but owing to slight haze over the target results were not seen. A considerable amount of heavy AA fire was experienced in and around the target area. Fire was accurate over Aachen. Searchlight activity was intense throughout the route but ineffective in the target area because of the cloud. Weather was fair en route but thick ground haze over all target area. Navigation was by Astro, D/R, QDM. Pinpointing and Lorenz check. Two of these aircraft, Z8945, captained by Sgt Barker, and X9916, captained by Sgt Matetich failed to return to base.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Derek Clare, RAFVR 103536/ 951765 – Observer.
Sgt. Keith Douglas Sarginson, RNZAF NZ391978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:20 – Landed 23:20
Flight Time 05:00

“I did that on the morning of fifteenth October and on reporting to “A” flight, found out that our crew was down for Ops that night. Cologne, also in Happy Valley and not too far from Dusseldorf, was the target. During the morning hours the plane would be air tested to make certain that engines, hydraulics, guns, radios etc. were in good order, and afterwards the plane would be fuelled and bombed up. In the meantime, the crew would have some lunch and sleep or rest in the afternoon, ready for some wakeful hours in the night.

Briefing for the operation would take about thirty minutes, where the route to and from the target would be noted, expected weather conditions en route given by the Met. Ofiicer, aiming point specified, which could be industrial complexes, railway yards etc and anything else that was of interest to the airmen. The evening meal was the next on the list, and there must have been plenty of brussels sprouts and carrots around, as they appeared on the menu often, and I was soon sick of the sight of them.

Getting near time for take off, and we dress up in the warmest clothes we have, topped off with fleecy lined flying jacket and pants, with overalls on top of that, several pairs of socks on our feet and flying boots, and waddle out to the truck which will drop us off at the right place. Climb up into the old Wimpy per ladder, through a hatch in the floor, sort out all the gear and make certain there will be no hold-ups later on. Time to start up, and the silence is broken by the sound of twenty four engines starting up, being warmed up, and then run up to take off revs, while the magnetos are tested, and then the line of aeroplanes begins to move out along the taxi ways, to the take-off point. There’s the green aldis light and away we go. Brakes hard on, control column hard forward, and full revs, and the tail comes up until the plane is in flying position. Brakes off, slam the control column as far forward as it will go, to keep the tail up, and we gradually gain speed as we use up the runway. Come on, come on, there’s six hundred gallons of gas and four thousand pounds of bombs to lift off, and Bob, the pilot, holds her down until we run out of space, then eases back on the control column and we are over the boundary fence and on our way. Ease back to climbing revs and we go, very slowly, to twelve thousand feet, which is just about as high as a Wimpy will go with a heavy load.

Soon the coast of Holland is coming up, and all along this coast the Germans have set up a searchlight barricade, and with the help of a well organised radar tracking system, are very good at making a rendezvous between a German fighter and an Allied bomber. There are some broken clouds around, and Bob makes the best possible use of them, and the front and rear gunners and one new chum Second Pilot looking out of the astrodome see nothing of any fighters. That’s the first obstacle passed, and as long as we don’t go too near any town or cities, we should be clear of flak until we near Happy Valley, so it’s keep a good look out, up, down, front, back and sideways, for German fighters.

Cloud most of the way, and at one stage the airscrews are ringed with St. Elmo’s Fire, caused when atmospheric conditions are right, and I reckon an enemy fighter could pick us out from a fair distance. Still, that doesn‘t last long, and soon, in the distance, we pick up cones of searchlights and the flak over Cologne, and I must say the Jerries could put on an excellent fireworks display, with dozens of searchlights and the flak guns pumping all they had into the centre of the cone of light, where some poor blighter was getting the daylights knocked out of him.

A good time to go in while the flak and lights are busy elsewhere, so straight and level when conditions permit, we head towards the aiming point, and all hell breaks loose. A bluish searchlight, which we reckoned was radar controlled, catches us, and very soon we are blinded when some more lights join in. So bright I can’t see a thing, and I can imagine Bob, with his head down low and flying on instruments, working like a one armed paper hanger, as he reverses course, and twists and tums, and dives and climbs in an effort to put the flak off. I can see the flak bursts, I can hear some of them, and I can smell them, and we eventually finish up at three thousand feet with no great damage done to anyone.

In the clear now, and back we go as high as we can once again, but watch out for fighters as they usually hang around on the outskirts of the flak. Someone else held in the searchlight cone and keeping some of the guns occupied, and we are ready for another run. We weave around a bit until our navigator can pick up the aiming point, then it is straight and level once again, bomb doors open, and I think we all heave a great sigh of relief when we hear “bombs away”.

There’s those searchlights, and they latch on to us once again, and the flak gives us a real good pasting as we dive and twist and tum and once again finish up at three thousand feet, which is just about .303 range, and kid stuff for the eighty-eight millimeter guns that had been annoying us. Once again no great problems barring for few small holes in the fuselage, which were patched up next day.

Right, back we go, and with a much lighter aeroplane we are soon back at a safe operating height where we can open our thermos flasks and have a quick snack while we go hell for leather back home again. Dodge the towns and cities, back through the searchlight belt along the coast, pick up a beacon to give us some idea of where we are, and we are soon over England once again. Still keep a good look out as we are not out of the woods yet, and there are barrage balloons around, other planes flying around with no lights showing, and there could be some German intruders waiting to knock us down when we come in to land. However, we are looking good and soon the truck is taking us for debriefing by the Intelligence Officer, where we tell our little story and enjoy a welcome cup of coffee laced with rum and served up by one of our Air Force ladies, off to breakfast and into bed for some well-earned rest. That was the end of my second operational flight which was quite a short one taking five hours, but one of the more interesting ones, and I only had to do another twenty eight ops to complete a tour when I would have earned a break from operational flying. Casualties ran at about five percent on average, just work that out for yourself!”

20/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Bremen
Six* Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above target. One of these aircraft, captained by Sgt Parnham, crash landed at Marham. Target area was bombed but results were not observed owing to low cloud. Activity was observed North and North West of target following river at Oldenburgh. Heavy and medium A.A. fire was met and a belt of searchlights was observed at Bremen and Oldenburgh. Three enemy aircraft were seen but no attack was made. Weather was poor, with low cloud and thick ground haze over the target.

Form 541 Lists the participating crews as follows:

S/L F.J. Lucas
Sgt. J.F.M. Parnham
Sgt. N.G.C. Ramsey
Sgt. G.S. Nunn
Sgt. R.H. Tye
P/O J.F. Fisher

Op 3

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

*Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Derek Clare, RAFVR 103536/ 951765 – .
Sgt. Keith Douglas Sarginson, RNZAF NZ391978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – Landed
Flight Time Not Known

22/10/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets Mannheim
*Six Wellington aircraft from this Unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. A mixed load was carried and consisted of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Owing to the weather conditions operations were marred, but a fire was bombed in a town on the Rhine, probably Mannheim and bomb bursts seen. There was  slight A.A. activity and searchlights were ineffective where seen. Electrical storms, thunder cloud and snow storms were met throughout operations. Navigation was good. D.R. and special beam No.6 used. Icing (black) was experienced over Continent. Unable to see through windscreens owing to accumulated snow, from Belgian coast onwards. Severe weather conditions made accuracy impossible. One of these aircraft, X.9914, captained by Sgt. Taylor, failed to return to base.

Form 541 Lists the participating crews as follows:

S/L F.J. Lucas
Sgt. J.F.M. Parnham
Sgt. N.G.C. Ramsey
Sgt. G.S. Nunn
Sgt. R.H. Tye
P/O J.F. Fisher
Sgt. Taylor – listed as missing/ FTR, but not listed as crew on Op

log 2 mannheim

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

*Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Derek Clare, RAFVR 103536/ 951765 – Observer.
Sgt. Keith Douglas Sarginson, RNZAF NZ391978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – Landed
Flight Time Not Known

01/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Kiel
Eleven Wellington Ic Aircraft from this Unit were detailed to attack the above targets. The whole Operation was marred by bad weather there being 10/10th. Cloud throughout the trip and no results were observed. Bomb load consisting of 1000lbs, 50lbs, 250lbs and incendiaries was dropped on un-identified town, and on area to the West of the target. Very heavy predicted A.A. fire was encountered over target area together with 75m.m. tracers. Searchlights were isolated and ineffective owing to cloud. One M.E. 110 enemy aircraft was seen but no attack was made. Navigation was good, Astro and D.R. loop being used. A convoy fifteen miles off the Wash fired at the aircraft until the colours were fired. There was a surprising lack of enemy fighters.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Derek Clare, RAFVR 103536/ 951765 – Observer.
Sgt. Keith Douglas Sarginson, RNZAF NZ391978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:40 – Landed 23:55
Flight Time 06:15

07/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Berlin and Ostend
Fourteen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. Two of these aircraft, X.9951, captained by F/O Methven and X.9976, captained by Sgt. Black, failed to return to base. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 1000lbs, 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped in target area and some large fires were started, but results were not clearly observed owing to heavy cloud over target area. A considerable amount of heavy flak was met over target area but searchlights, where seen, were ineffective. No enemy aircraft were met throughout the trip. Weather was poor with 10/10th cloud over target area. Navigation was good, Astro and D/R loops being used. Wellington Z.1091, captained by P/O Sandys returned to base owing to engine trouble. Wellington Z.1068, captained by Sgt. Parham returned to base owing to Navigator being sick.

Wellington Mk.Ic X.9628 AA-A

Sgt. Robert Walter Bray, RAFVR 113927 – Pilot.
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – 2nd Pilot..
P/O Derek Clare, RAFVR 103536/ 951765 – Observer.
Sgt. Keith Douglas Sarginson, RNZAF NZ391978 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Partridge, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. Monk, RAF – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:30 – Landed 04:15
Flight Time 10:45

Between the 11th and 16th Eric undertook 8 flights at No. 5 B.A.T. at Honnington.

“November 1941, I had completed six freshman trips with Bob and it was time to take over my own crew and my own Wimpy, so I finished up with one Canadian and four Englishmen, most of whom stayed with me until January 1942. Lousy weather in the middle of winter, and we managed another three operations, before I was sent on a Blind Approach training course, which I found most interesting. Just two of us in a Wimpy, an instructor and pupil, which was me, and the object was to find and fly on a radio beam, when the pupil was surrounded by a screen and couldn’t see a thing outside of the aeroplane. We found this beam many times in the week I was there, and before I was finished I could fly on the beam, and come in over the same fence post ready for a landing, every time a coconut, and then the instructor would whip the screen away, and we would open up and go around again for another practice run.

Fog, darkness and dirty weather didn’t worry me after doing that course, and I reckoned as long as I could find that beam I could put the aeroplane down in the right place no matter what the weather was like. There were other aids for lost airmen, such as friendly searchlights which would raise the beam to the vertical and then lower it until it pointed to the nearest RAF statiora used in really dirty weather. There was another system which used a flashing light which sent out a two letter code in morse, the code being changed daily, and all one had to do was read the letters, look up the position of the light as shown on a piece of paper, and bobs your uncle. These flashing beacons were situated near airfields and there were heaps of them around and they were a great help when a crew wasn’t too sure where they were or didn‘t have a clue just where they were.”

23/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Dunkirk
Seven Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 500lbs, 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Bombs were dropped on target area and flashes seen but full results were not seen. Heavy A.A. fire was met over target area and searchlights in large cones were active. No enemy aircraft were met. Weather was fair with 7/10th. Cloud over target area and freezing level was at 9,000ft. Navigation was good.

Wellington Mk.Ic R.3176 AA-E

Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – Pilot.
Sgt. Higgins, RAF – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Hanstock, RAF – Observer.
Sgt. McKinley, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Oulton, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAF 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 17:25 – Landed 20:25
Flight Time 03:00

26/11/1941 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Emden and Ostend
Seventeen Wellington Ic aircraft were detailed from this Unit to attack the above targets. A mixed bomb load was carried consisting of 4000,lbs, 1000lbs, 500lbs. 250lbs and containers of incendiaries. Very bad weather prevented the target being identified and results were not observed. A few bombs were however dropped in target area and one flash was seen. The remainder were brought back to base. Heavy and light predicted A.A. fire was met over target area and cones of searchlights were active. One single engine aircraft and one Junkers 88 enemy aircraft were seen but were successfully evaded. Weather was extremely bad and marred the whole operation. 10/10th cloud was met throughout the journey to and from the target. Navigation was D.R. and Q.D. M.s. One of these aircraft, Z.1114, captained by Sgt. Evans, returned to base with engine trouble.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1108 AA-X

Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375 – Pilot.
Sgt. Higgins, RAF – 2nd Pilot..
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quinn, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Duxton, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. McKinley,   – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAF 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:20 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 02:30

“Getting around to December I941, and the big news is the arrival of our first child, Valerie, and the news that all is OK at home in New Zealand. Ouma and I must have kept the Postal Service fairly busy with a two way traffic, and the cameras in NZ worked overtime, as I soon had a good collection of photos of Ouma and the new arrival.

December 1941 was quite a newsy month as on the seventh the Japanese made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour which was an American Naval Base in Hawaii, and almost finished off the Pacific section of the American Navy, which included about four battleships. Things really started to hum when the Japs started running rampant in the Pacific with their attacks on Singapore, Malaya, Burma and any other place they could knock off easily, and the Allied forces, which at that time was the British Empire almost on its own, started sending some reinforcements to the Far East”

02/01/1942 – Bombing Attacks Against Targets at Brest
Five Wellington IC aircraft from this unit were detailed to carry out the above attacks. Bomb load consisting of 500 lbs and containers of incendiaries was dropped in the target area but results were not observed owing to 10/10th cloud. A.A. fire was only slight, only a few searchlights were active and no enemy aircraft were seen. The weather was poor and there
was 10/10 cloud throughout the operation. Navigation was entirely by D.R. Wellington aircraft R1457 returned to base with it’s bomb load.

Wellington Mk.Ic Z.1083 AA-K
Sgt. Eric Reginald Jones, RNZAF NZ404375  – Pilot.
Sgt. Young, RAF – 2nd Pilot.
Sgt. Joseph Guy Quinn, RAFVR 1256373 – Observer.
Sgt. Allan, RAF – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. Oulton, RAF – Front Gunner.
Sgt. James William Hinton, RAFVR 1150584 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 16:10 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 05:40

“The RAF called for volunteers and I reckoned the Far East was a lot closer to NZ than Britain was, and my name went in. Another factor was that I was getting rather lonely in 75 as the twelve New Zealand pilots who accompanied me’ to that station had been reduced to two in five months, and the other fellow was in hospital, having been shot up by a night fighter.

I reckon it was a good time to find a new stamping ground.”